The day was opaque. Not a sound was heard nor was there any people out on the streets. The air was neither cold, nor warm. The wind was silent as if there was a secret in the air. She wears a black hoodie, her long hair has been cut to her shoulders and her eyes look scared. She gazes in the mirror at her reflection only to realize she’s in a dream.
She’s use to dreams like these. Where the world around her feels foggy, there is no wind, no motion but her own, and where things don’t make sense. She’s in her bedroom though there is no furniture and she doesn’t dwell on this either. Why should she if this is a dream?
Tugging the sweater closer to her body as if seeking warmth, she sighs. This feel uncomfortable; not because she’s never worn anything like this but because she somehow feels expose. There’s a feeling of being watched that she can’t shake and there’s this feeling at the pit of her stomach that tells her she’s being watched.
She knows no one is home in this dream like house and the air is opaque as is the dim light that lights the room. She’s afraid of the silence and heads out of her room, down the flight of stairs, past the living room, and out the front door.
She knows the street is empty because she’d already looked outside her window. The street looks long and wide. Extending for miles and miles, not a soul in sight. Her eyes land on the house beside her own. There is a single red rose stuck between the wired fence.
She reaches her hand out; running her fingers past the fence as she walks. When her fingers graze the rose she smiles and pulls the rose out. The rose feels soft and velvety in her hands and she smiles when she brings the rose up to her nose. She closes her eyes and smells the soft fragrance.
When she opens her eyes she continues her walk along the fence that stretches to the next house. This house she doesn’t recognize. The outside is quite elegant. Green grass, a pebbled path that leads to the main door. A beautiful fountain on the outside of a naked baby angel. The house is rather large. Painted white with windows so big you could quite literally walk out of them. Inside, the house was elegant and beautifully furnished. A chandelier was placed in the middle of the room.
She continued to walk, her eyes curiously remaining on the house and just as she’s about to leave she hears a door open and stops. There is a side door, two women walk out. She can’t really see their faces but her heart stops when she sees a woman being carried in their arms. She wears a wedding dress and her hands have long with gloves. Her hair is jet black and she wears a veil. Her skin is sickly pale and it is only when her hand dangles at an odd angle that she realizes this person is dead.
She wants to look away and run but her feet stay glued to the sidewalk as she looks at the two women carry the girl out to the back that is hidden by large trees. She wants to forget because this is a nightmare. She’s sure of it and she knows that any moment she’ll probably wake up. That’s what she prays for but somehow that doesn’t seem to happen.
She must have stood there too long because when she opens her eyes there’s a woman smiling at her from the side of the house. The two woman and the dead bride now gone. She’s afraid to look away and afraid to smile at the woman and instead simply stares while clutching her hands nervously inside her sweater pockets. The rose is tightly clutched in her hand. Still, the woman doesn’t take her eyes off her.
She is in an elegant tight fitting off shoulder dark black dress and a pair of black black stiletto heels. Her hair an auburn color that is styled in soft waves. Her lipstick a ruby red, and on her neck beautiful white pears. The way she carried herself made her appear like a Madame; but it was that pearly white creepy smile and her dark eyes that made her unable to look away.
Finally, when the Madame returned to her house was she able to look away.
“This is a dream.”
“This is just a nightmare.” She continued to repeat out loud; trying to shake away the images in her head of the dead bride. She walks across the street to an empty school and she sits in front of the school’s fence. Looking at her feet she tries to calm her heart.
“Any minute now I’ll wake up.” She whispers.
Startled she looks up and sees five of her friends. They’ve all been together since they were kids. She offers them a strained smiled but they don’t seem to notice. She begins to relax when they all begin to comment on how different she looks. They begin a little squabble on who should do her makeup maybe even go shopping for new clothes. They joke with her on the hoodie she’s wearing calling her gloomy and she smiles again thinking that her nightmare has passed and just maybe this is a new dream.
When her friend Adrianne sits beside her however, she freezes. Her friend isn’t smiling. In fact, her olive green eyes appear sad. Adrianne has always been the prettiest. Her hair jet black hair usually styled by a hair clip and cascading down her waist is so beautiful and silky it makes anyone want to run their fingers through it. Her is heart shaped her bangs only drawing more attention to her beautiful eyes. Out of all her friends Adrianne is the most innocent. She appears to always look delicate in anything she wears.
“Are you alright?” She asks Adrianne who places her hands on her face and sighs sadly. She doesn’t speak much but there are tears in her eyes.
“I loved him so much and he’s gone.” She cries.
There is silence once again and her friends all hug Adrianne tightly. While she only reaches to take her hand and offer a weak smile. What can she really say? They’ve all known suffering on way or the other it feels like pain is what links them all together. Her friends are still consoling Adrianne when she see’s the Madame across the street. The Madame smiling as she walks towards them and though she wants to tell her friends they should all leave she can’t find her voice.
It’s as if something. Or someone. Has stopped her from opening her mouth to speak. The Madame finally stands before them and once again she turns her gaze to her and smiles. She can’t seem to look away from this woman and chills run down her spine.
“I can make all the pain go away.”
“All the sadness that lingers in your heart.”
“Every single memory that has caused you pain. I can make go away.”
She can’t seem to move or speak but her fear is telling her to look away. The Madame then calmly bites her index finger. When she pulls away her finger is dripping with blood so red. The Madame smiles when a drop of blood falls dripping down on the street pavement. The Madame looks at her again and takes her hand though she wants to fight and pull away her eyes remain glued to this woman’s eyes and her smile.
“Just one drop and everything will go away.” The Madame says placing a drop of blood in her hand. There’s a small puddle of red in her closed palm as she gazes down. The Madame has now moved to her friends who all appear to be hypnotized by her gaze. She drops blood on their hands and she smiles at them all upon finishing her task; as she stands in front of them.
“Drink.” The Madame orders them. Her eyes land once again on her but somehow she’s able to look away now. For just a second something flickers in the Madame’s eyes; though her smile never falters.
“Drink,” She orders again. This time the Madame places her bloody finger to her lips and forces a drop of blood to her mouth. There is a taste of metal in the blood but she doesn’t swallow as her mouth builds more saliva as if wanting to cleanse her mouth of this.
Her friends begin to drink and the Madame takes her eyes off her. Scared, she takes her moment and spits out the blood quietly. Still not swallowing and spitting once again until she is sure she is sure her mouth is cleaned of any trace of blood. Adrianne who sits beside her at that moment grabs her hand and licks the small puddle of blood in her hand. When her eyes meet her friend’s she freezes. She’s gone. There is not life in her friend’s eyes that now appear empty.
There are no feelings or depth in her eyes that had now turned a light gray color. When Adrianne looks up she looks past her at the Madame. There is an awe in her plain expression, her mouth is slightly open and that’s when she see’s it. Fangs. Gone are regular human teeth which are now replaced by pearly white fangs and as she looks at the rest of her friends she realizes they’re all the same. All of them have been hypnotized. All of them appeared to be in a dead like state.
“I want more.” Adrianne speaks up. Her voice is calm as she gazes at the Madame who offers a smile to her and places her finger out to Adrianne. There’s a sound of desperation that emits from her throat before Adrianne clings to the Madame and drinks. It is only when the Madame pats Adrianne on the head gently; in an almost motherly fashion, that Adrianne lets go. For a moment the Madame steps away; still smiling, she gazes at all of the girls in front of her. Her heart stops again with fear when she realizes she’s been the only one not to drink the blood. She wonders what the Madame will do to her now but when the Madame turns to look her way it’s as if she’s become invisible to the woman.
“Come my daughters. You will no longer feel pain.”
“I will keep you safe of any harm.” The Madame speaks; her hand outstretched to Adrianne while the rest of the girls all rise with her robotically. In fear, she stands with them; falling to the back of the line. The Madame now holds Adrianne’s hand in hers as she leads the girls across the street. She looks at her friends but her feet stay glued to the pavement as she watches her friends head into the Madame’s home.
The Madame opens her gate and walks in with Adrianne together. The rest of the girls follow without looking back and just like that; the gate closes...
With a gasp she sits up from her bed. There’s sweat on her forehead from the nightmare and she clutches at her chest tightly trying hard to erase the memory from her mind. The sun is out and the streets are busy. Hearing movement outside causes her heart to slow down and she smiles when she sees a red rose by her window. With a smile she reaches for it. Closing her eyes, she presses the rose up to her nose gently, her long hair falling to the front slightly and when she opens her eyes she smiles brightly.
Her long hair is an indication that the Madame had indeed just been a figment of her imagination. She reminds herself that she’d fallen asleep after making plans and having text messaged all her friends. Heading to the mirror she smiles as she looks at herself. She’s wearing a long sleeved black dress with flower chiffon that runs through the entire dress so beautifully and elegantly. Her hair is curled in the softest of waves and her makeup is done so subtly it causes her to smile. Heading out of her room, down the stairs, past her living room and out the door she turns the corner of her house and smiles.
Once again she runs her fingers through the wired fence watching as the sun dances with her. She walks past the first house but her smile vanishes and her heart stops when she sees the second house. Like from her dream, this house is white. The grass as green as she’s ever seen, a pebbled walking path, the naked baby angel fountain. There are blue curtains now up to stop sunlight from coming in; a contrast to her dream. She takes a deep breath telling herself that it had all been a dream; a nightmare, and maybe she had forgotten about this house.
From inside the house glass is shattered. A woman begins to scream and the house shakes. Her heart clenches and all she can do is try to peek inside through the outside. Just like that, there is calm again. She continues to walk and once again stops at the end of the house. This time it is in the hopes of seeing something more. The side door opens and her heart stops. Her friends.
All fours of them in a zombie like state walk out speaking incoherencies and carrying a dead girl in their arms; a bride. Her hair is jet black, her skin sickly paid; a veil on her head. But it is when the girl’s head is turned at an odd angle that she realizes who the dead bride is. Adrianne.
They carry her to the back of the house and all she can do is watch as her friend is carried outside and then. The Madame. She walks out in an off shoulder black leopard print dress and five-inch stiletto black heels. Her auburn hair is styled in soft curls, and a creepy smile is on her face.
“Run” She thinks. Afraid of what the Madame will do to her but the woman only smiles at her. She watched as girls come back inside the house and with one last smile the Madame follows behind them.
Taking her phone out she checks her messages and sees couples of unanswered messages; messages that were never sent. The last message between her and Adrianne being six months ago. Afraid and confused she calls the police and as she hears the ringing the line goes dead. Her surroundings are still moving; cars are still passing by but it is as if this street in particular has stopped moving. Her phone goes dead and she panics. She turns to look at the house which is now empty. Opening the gate, she walks toward the large window. The beautiful furniture is still inside and yet no one seems to be in it. A ‘For Rent’ sign sits on the window.
“Help!” She screams. Inside, the house is empty and as she cries out for help in desperation shadows linger inside the house.